More employers and fewer job-seekers were on hand at the latest edition of the Central Alberta Career and Job Fair.
About 1,400 people had filed through the Capri Hotel and Convention Centre as of 5 p.m. on Tuesday, with an hour remaining in the fair, said Charles Strachey, a regional communications manager with Alberta Employment and Immigration. That was down from a count of roughly 1,700 at the spring fair, and more than 2,000 a year ago.
Meanwhile, nearly 100 exhibitors took part, including employers, service providers and training organizations. Others found themselves on a waiting list.
“There were over 80 employers there for sure,” said Strachey.
“This was one of our strongest (job fairs).”
He added that a good mix of industries were represented, although the energy sector dominated the fair.
“I think the biggest increase was, without doubt, the number of oilfield companies. I believe there were 30.”
By contrast, said Strachey, only a couple energy companies took part in a job fair held during the depths of the economic downturn.
He wasn’t surprised by the decline in the number of prospective workers taking part.
“Our unemployment rate has dropped, so we expected that we’d see a drop in the number of job-seekers.”
In fact, said Strachey, the local labour market is currently a balanced one, with an unemployment rate of about five per cent.
“It’s a good situation right now. There’s lots of choice for employers and lots of choice for job-seekers.”
For those who missed Tuesday’s job fair, about nine employers will be on hand for a mini job fair at the Alberta Works office on the second floor of First Red Deer Place today from 9 a.m. to noon. Job information can also be found on the Central Alberta Jobs Facebook page at www.facebook.com/CentralAlbertaJobs.